TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .
An article from The Diplomatic Service of the European Union
The 29th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held on 5 August 2022, in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, under the Kingdom of Cambodia’s 2022 ASEAN Chairmanship.
REAFFIRMING the responsibility of all members to uphold the principles of mutual respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and equal rights of all nations as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and calling on all nations to exercise maximum self-restraint and make utmost efforts to pursue peaceful dialogue through all channels, including diplomatic means to reduce tensions and mitigate conflicts;
The 29th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) opened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on August 5 with the participation of foreign ministers from countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Source: baoquocte.vn
RECOGNISING the impacts and uncertainties posed by the growing complexities of regional and global security challenges, including traditional and non-traditional security issues, and ACKNOWLEDGING that such challenges require a holistic and comprehensive approach to address these challenges;
RECOGNISING the continued relevance of the ARF and the commitment of its members in promoting and maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and its vital role in building confidence and trust amongst its participants;
REAFFIRMING the commitment of the ARF in fostering constructive dialogue and cooperation on political and security issues of common interest and concern, enhancing mutual understanding and transparency, accepting and whenever possible reconciling divergent views to reduce the risk to security, promoting respect for international law, including the UN Charter and its related instruments as well as promoting confidence-building and preventive diplomacy to maintain peace, stability, and prosperity in the region;
REITERATING the basic principles contained within the 1994 ARF Concept Paper, which is an important foundational document that has guided the development of the ARF since its inception;
ACKNOWLEDGING the importance placed by ASEAN on the principles and objectives in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific;
COGNIZANT of the significance of dialogue encompassing interfaith and inter-cultural interaction as well as efforts to promote respect, understanding and tolerance among people of all religions and no religions, beliefs and cultures as an important part of ARF efforts to promote peace and security;
RECALLING all the principles and purposes of the United Nations as set out in the Charter of the United Nations which calls for maintaining the international peace and security; and underlining the necessity of respecting human rights and international humanitarian law in resolving conflicts;
REAFFIRMING the role of ASEAN as the primary driving force of the ARF and emphasizing that the active, and equal participation and cooperation of all ARF participants is critical for the success of the ARF;
UNDERSCORING the importance of Cambodia’s ASEAN theme “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together” for 2022, which calls on ASEAN Member States to uphold the spirit of togetherness and to reinforce ASEAN’s founding principles, as well as address major challenges with perseverance and fortitude so as to further develop an ASEAN Community where all peoples live in harmony, peace, stability, and prosperity;
EMPHASISING the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes and sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of armed conflict, strengthening of the rule of law, and promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication, social development, sustainable development, reconciliation and unity including through inclusive dialogue and mediation, access to justice, accountability, good governance, and gender equality while promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;
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Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?
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CONCERNED that despite the ARF’s best efforts and successful endeavours, security threats and challenges that could undermine the peace, security and stability of the region still exist, and that such challenges are increasingly multifaceted in nature which require our common resolve and cooperation to address them;
STRESSING the importance of creating a favourable environment for enhancing cooperation among our countries in keeping with the principles of consensus, equality, partnership, consultation, and mutual respect, and the value of ARF as a venue for constructive dialogue, thereby contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world at large;
Do hereby endeavour to:
1 . Renew our individual and collective commitment to build upon the achievements of the ARF and strengthen dialogue and cooperation in existing and new areas to promote and maintain regional peace and security;
2. Commit to maintain and promote peace, stability and prosperity through confidence building measures and preventive diplomacy in the spirit of upholding the fundamental principles of international law as reflected in the UN Charter and ASEAN basic principles, and shared values and norms;
3. Deepen cooperation towards a collective and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic; advance regional recovery through effective COVID-19 vaccine rollout management and support the enhancement of ASEAN-led regional cooperation and initiatives, including the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its Implementation Plan, in ensuring equitable access to safe, effective and quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines;
4. Work jointly to encourage constructive dialogue and partnerships to build common ground for cooperation in areas of mutual concern and shared interest and peaceful settlement of international disputes;
5. Exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would and affect peace and stability, to refrain from the threat or use of force, to adhere to the principles of preventive diplomacy and to resolve differences and disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law;
6. Further strengthen cooperation among ARF Participants in the response to emerging traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including through information sharing, awareness raising, as well as capacity building measures;
7. Commit to concrete and practical cooperation to address issues of common interests, with the view to build capacity, develop expertise and enhance coordination in areas that can contribute to the region’s collective security objectives;
8 . Conduct more concrete and effective confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy (CBMs and PD), so as to promote mutual respect, dialogue and consultation, and a culture of peace and non-violence, which can contribute to avoiding misunderstanding and miscalculation, promote the purposes and principles as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, and support multilateralism founded on the principles stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations and on the basis of international law;
9 . Support ASEAN Centrality as driving force in upholding an open, transparent and inclusive regional architecture based on the principles of international law;
10 . Explore new possible areas of cooperation in accordance with the objective of ARF to promote mutual trust and respect and mutual benefit, thereby contributing to regional peace, stability, and long-term prosperity and sustainability;
11 . Support the enhanced role of the ARF Chair in facilitating dialogue and consultation among ARF Participants to promote confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy (CBMs and PD) in the ARF process;
12 . Promote cooperation in peacebuilding initiatives including through encouraging the participation of women and youth in peace processes, foster the sharing of experience, best practices, capacity building, and collaboration on political and security issues of common interest and concern, including in humanitarian assistance and demining actions towards achieving peace, stability, prosperity, and sustainability in the region and beyond.
Adopted on the Fifth of August in the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-Two (2022) at the 29th ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
(Editor’s note: ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The member states are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.)